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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Beltane

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
May Day 2015: Looking deeper

I write this on Beltane eve, later than I hoped.  A bout with some bug has laid me low and I will not be up to my usual activities this Sabbat.  But perhaps my enforced period of solitude has enabled me to think a little more deeply than I might have about the meaning of this time.

Beltane and May Day comprise one of the two most important Wiccan Sabbats, the other, Samhain, being six months away.  For Wiccans and most other NeoPagans Beltane marks the beginning of summer.  We believe every basic dimension of physical existence is sacred in its own way, and seek to honor each at that time of the year when it can be most powerfully symbolized in ritual and celebration.  Beltane and May Day so honor summer.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    As always, thank you for your wisdom and insight Gus.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lover's Gift

Lovers reach towards
One another seeking
The fires of creation’s
Sacred union

Mouth to mouth
Hand to hand

Bodies pressed tightly
In rapturous embrace.

Lovers dance held in
Passion's sweet embrace.

Each step a garden of
Spring flowers left in
Lusty foot fall's place.

Lovers yearn to see
Love reflected back
In upturned face.

Two become one
As each holds fast
To their separateness.

Lovers hold the gift
Of creation in the pure
Essence of their love.

The dance of courtship
And coyly sought mating
Awakens the fires of
Planet’s act of creation.

And in lover’s passionate
Union the greening of
The earth is begun.

All of life quickens
As HIS passion's heat
Shines down upon
HER body of fertile
Verdant grace.

The fertile womb of the Goddess is filled with the Light of quickening at this time of the year. Look around you! Life awaits the seed of potential. Life is bursting with anticipation of reaching its fullness. Delicate flowers are blooming and the growing heat of the sun stirs us to our passionate acts of creation in all of its forms. We are inspired, we are enlivened as the hand of the Maiden seeks the warm caress of her Lover's embrace. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Thought I would share my article about how to dance a maypole and maypole magic. Happy Beltane to all Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere, and Blessed Samhain to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!

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Breathing In Beltane's Magic

   I have been long away from the SageWoman Blogs; having started a new job in January, I am still adjusting to the change in my rhythms and tasks. After four months I still find myself floundering, not quite sure how to fit everything into the twenty-four hours we have every day, and things I find pleasure and solace in, such as all of my writing projects, have been pushed aside so I might focus on work projects and caring for my family. I realize I am not alone in this situation: parents and caregivers all over the world face this same struggle every day, and we all of us end up feeling some sort of guilt over the choices we make.

   I am not going to spend this post wondering how to balance everything, or how to avoid feeling the unwarranted yet unavoidable guilt that comes from being a working parent/caregiver. Instead, as today is Beltane eve, I am going to think about what Beltane brings to us, and the joy Beltane trails in its wake. For who doesn't love Beltane? Samhain, Beltane's sister holy day, is dark, mysterious, and magical, but Beltane is altogether different: flowery, glittery, all light and laughter. It is a sabbat of bonfires and music, dancing and faerie-lore. Today I have a rare day off (and I still will be going into work for a meeting later today) and on waking the day felt altogether different, just knowing that I (mostly) had a free day. Generally I wake up in a pleasant mood, as I truly enjoy the work I am now doing, but today I woke happy, not just in a good mood. I am still happy, despite a grumpy getting-sick five year old and the fact that twice now my computer has nearly lost the unsaved drafts of this post. (I am now saving it every two sentences, btw)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Beltane and the Sensual

Sensuality – what a lovely word. It rolls off the tongue – you have to say it slowly, it really doesn’t work otherwise.  Like dripping honey.  Sweet molasses.  A cat’s stretch. It needs time, awareness, mindfulness.

Sensuality is often misinterpreted as relating solely to the sexual experience. What we need to do is bring the sensual back into our everyday lives, seeing how it relates to the whole experience rather than just a sexual one. Sensual – input from the senses. There are so many other senses that are pretty much asleep for most of our day. Sometimes there are very good reasons – we couldn’t really function if all our senses were firing on full all at the same time.  But reawakening them, especially at this time of year, and working with them intentionally can help us to rediscover our world through our bodies, rather than just living in our heads.

All too often we experience life only through our minds, leaving our bodies out.  Mind and body are intertwined, and both need input, both need nourishment in order to function properly.  When we get too caught up in thinking, our bodies are often neglected. When we are too wrapped up in the physical, our intellect or even spiritual attributes can suffer.  Finding a holistic balance is key.

I know far too many people living in their heads.  They suffer greatly, because they cannot escape their own mindtraps  To alleviate that suffering, we need to reawaken the sensual. 

So what is the sensual? Essentially, it is working with the senses.  Many of our senses are asleep, or deadened through lack of use, or even abuse. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Welcome to Summerisle!

 Summer is icumen in, loudly sing cuckoo. Grows the seed and blows the mead, and springs the wood anew. Sing, cuckoo! Ewe bleats harshly after lamb, cows after calves make moo!

Ever since I began ritualing with my fostering coven almost ten years ago, The Wicker Man has been one of my favorite movies.  We’d watch it together every Beltane, sipping mead and telling jokes, singing the songs and quoting our favorite lines.  One year I was feeling especially inspired so I put it on to play first thing in the morning and my DVD ran on repeat until I went to bed that night.  Clearly, to say that I adore The Wicker Man is an understatement. 

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  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Question of Soul

Recently I was asked a question that gave me pause. It was a simple question that opened up whole worlds of inquiry which have echoed through many hundreds of years. The question was, “Do birds have souls?” This is not such an unusual question. For a very long time in history, we have been told that only humans have souls. As God gave mankind dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26), this seems to imply that, though animals have the ‘breath of life’ to animate them, they are not connected with the Divine in the same sense as mankind. They do not have souls nor do they go to heaven. We have come a long way in appreciating that animals have thoughts and feelings. Anyone who owns a pet (and this implication of ‘ownership’ becomes interesting language itself) can attest to the different, particular personalities that come through. Many of you reading this likely have already answered the question of animal’s souls in your own minds. For me it was an invitation to a more expansive question, “What exactly is a Soul and does it differ from Spirit?”

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  • Tiffany Lazic
    Tiffany Lazic says #
    Hi, Linda ~ Yes, I have had a similar experience with old beloved friends. You look into animals' eyes and you know there is a sou
  • Linda Margaretha OReilly
    Linda Margaretha OReilly says #
    I like to believe that animals have souls...I have visited with my dog in dreams and she was laughing and very happy.
  • Jean Bastide
    Jean Bastide says #
    THE ELFIN MAY-POLE Death and Bereavement: The May Queen Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

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